Organizing Wildfire and Wildcat Strikes Spread Among Cablevision Workers
After nearly two decades of Cablevision workers attempting to organize in New York City, it suddenly appears that they're meeting success. This story perhaps precipitates a broader trend about how, given the hope of the Wisconsin Uprising and Occupy Wall Street, workers are reinvigorated to fight back against slashed wages and poor working conditions.
In January of this year, in a campaign involving a massive training of shop stewards, political support from elected New York City officials, and community outreach with groups like Occupy Wall Street, 282 Brooklyn-based Cablevision workers voted to unionize with CWA (for more on the dynamics of this incredible campaign, read my story here). Then a group of 120 from the Bronx—employed by Corbel, a Cablevision subcontractor—went out on a wildcat strike to protest cut wages. Last month, those Corbel workers voted to join the IBEW.
“Any organizing win is big, but after three years of facing down adversity, this one shows a lot of character for workers at Corbel and for Local 1430,” said Joe Mastrogiovanni Jr., IBEW region 1 lead organizer, in a statement.
Now the fire that started with those victories is spreading to three other Cablevision locations throughout New York City. CWA currently has two separate union elections scheduled for two different bargaining units of Cablevision workers in the Bronx, the first in connection with 172 field technicians and the second involving 30 outside plant technicians. The election there will be held June 28.